Twitch to Start Selling Games and Giving Its Streamers 5% of the Sale

It already dominates video game streaming, but Twitch is now getting into a new market: video game selling. The company will start selling games and in-game content through its service this spring, it announced today, allowing viewers to buy titles from publishers both big and independent through its streamers’ channels.

The move opens up a new revenue stream for Twitch, but it should also benefit its legion of broadcasters, too. Partnered streamers will get 5 percent of the sale originating on their channel, the company confirmed, while 70 percent goes to the game’s creator. That makes it an intriguing prospect for both big and small publishers alike, who could get thousands — if not millions — of eyeballs on their games with an easy “buy” option just inches away.

People who do buy games through the platform will also get a handful of Twitch-specific items to sweeten the pot. Purchases through the service will come with a “Twitch Crate” — a random selection of emotes, badges, and Bits (a Twitch currency, used for animated chat GIFs, and usually bought with real money) — that should appeal to the millions of regular Twitch viewers.

A number of publishers have already signed deals with Twitch to sell their games through the service. Bigger names are represented by companies including Ubisoft, Telltale Games, and Paradox Interactive, alongside indie studios like Vlambeer and tinyBuild. Notably absent at the moment are other big names publishers like Activision, Square Enix, and Bandai Namco. EA is also off the list, presumably because it’s still focusing on its own PC game distribution platform, Origin.

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SOURCE: The Verge, Rich McCormick